's not the first time the algerian government has used military force to deal with extremists. nhk world gives us some perspective on the political situation. >> reporter: the algerian government hard line approach can be traced back to the decade-long civil war that ended in 2002. in 1991, islamic parties won a landslide victory in the country's first democratic election. but one year later, military forces carried out a coup on the grounds they were protecting the republican system. >> translator: algerian history has a precedent for terrorist tactics, leading to victory. in the case of the war of independence against france. so in a sense, there's a kind of justification for terrorism, and at the same time, there's the idea of never surrendering in the face of terrorism coming from the enemy. >> reporter: the civil war claimed the lives of 200,000 people. it involved indiscriminate bombings and widespread human rights violations. president abdelaziz bouteflika was elected for the first time in 1999. he was re-elected in 2004 and 2009. bouteflika chose to deal with militant groups in two ways.